The effect of faith on a person’s life is an immense one indeed; it is quite astounding how faith changes the course that a person takes such that when it enters a person heart, it causes him to transform into a totally different human being, one who possesses lofty qualities and noble morals and makes him go through this life as if he has already reached Paradise.
There are many qualities that a person obtains when he becomes a true believer, one of which is security, as Allah says (what means): “They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice [i.e. disbelief and polytheism] - those will have security, and they are the [rightly] guided.” [Quran 6:82]
A believer does not cry over or regret what he suffered in the past, nor does he deal with his present situation with discontent. Also, a believer does not face the future in a fearful and terrified manner or live in fear of the unknown, as if it is a vicious and evil enemy. On the contrary, a believer leads a tranquil and secure life because faith is a source of security.
Furthermore, tranquillity is a natural fruit of faith which Allah bestows upon the believer. Allah has made Paradise the abode of security and peace; the dwellers of Paradise reside peacefully and in security in their rooms, where they experience neither fear nor grief; the angels greet them from the time they enter Paradise saying, as Allah informs us saying (what means): “Enter it in peace, safe [and secure].” [Quran 15:46]
Conversely, those who do not believe or believe but live far from abiding by the instructions of the religion live their lives with fear, worry, grief and anxiety; they constantly fear what the future will bring and never feel comfortable or secure regarding their futures. They live lost lives, feeling extreme constriction in their chests, just as Allah describes them, saying (what means): “And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life [i.e. difficult].” [Quran 20:124]
Allah makes those who live their lives away from His legislation and religion taste this depression and difficulty as a result of their turning away. Although some of these people may possess great wealth and spacious homes, the real comfort is that which one feels in his heart and soul rather than in his dwellings and automobiles.
This is why we see the believers leading cheerful lives, despite their poverty and deficiencies in worldly goods; real happiness lies in the heart and not in appearances.
Allah gives us an example in the Qur’aan of how faith is the real source of security; this is in the story of a mother whose situation was a living example of this fact. This woman endured a situation, through which she would have naturally been terrified, but due to her strong faith she was neither fearful nor worried as Allah had made her steadfast as a result of that faith; Allah says (what means): “And We inspired to the mother of Moses, saying: 'Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him in the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers.' And the family of Pharaoh picked him up [out of the river] so that he would become to them an enemy and a [cause of] grief. Indeed, Pharaoh and Haamaan and their soldiers were deliberate sinners.” [Quran 28:7-8] Throwing him in the river was something to be terrified of; how could a mother do so and not feel any fear?
Indeed, Allah fulfilled His promise to the mother of Prophet Moses, may Allah exalt his mention, and He never breaks His promise; He says (what means): “So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of them [i.e., the people] do not know.” [Quran 28:13]
People in general fear a great many things, but a believer fears only Allah; he fears that he has neglected the rights of Allah or transgressed the limits set by Him, or that he has transgressed the rights of others, which he is not permitted by Allah to do. A believer does not fear other people because they possess neither the power nor the control to afflict harm or bring about benefit; they can neither cause life, nor death, nor resurrection.
Allah informs us about our father and the father of all the Prophets, Abraham, may Allah exalt his mention, when he addressed his people regarding their idols saying (what means): “'And how should I fear what you associate while you do not fear that you have associated with Allah that for which He has not sent down any authority? So which of the two parties has more right to security, if you should know?' They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice [i.e. disbelief and polytheism] - those will have security, and they are the [rightly] guided.” [Quran 6:81-82] In the second of the two verses here, Allah confirms the fact that security and fear are related to one’s state of faith. Therefore, it becomes evident that pure Islamic monotheism is the real source of security and tranquillity, and that disbelief and associating with Allah is the source of fear and apprehension; Allah says (what means): “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which We had not sent down [any] authority…” [Quran 3:151] Meaning, as a result of their disbelief.
The difference between a believer and others with regard to the issue of provision: People talk about provision, salaries, jobs, business and trade; they talk about how some have lost everything on the stock market, how others have lost in their businesses and how others still have made great profits, and so on. Their main concern seems to be income and material goods.
A believer on the other hand feels secure, even with regards to the issue of provision and income; he knows very well that nothing of what has been decreed for him will ever miss him, and that his provision is guaranteed by Allah. It is Allah who has predestined everything and has promised to provide for people; He even takes an oath on this when He says (what means): “And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised. Then by the Lord of the heaven and earth, indeed, it is truth – just as [sure as] it is that you are speaking.” [Quran 51:22-23] Additionally, a believer knows that every living creature is provided for by Allah; Allah says (what means): “And how many a creature carries not its [own] provision. Allah provides for it and for you…” [Quran 29:60]
Furthermore, a believer knows that regardless of how hard he strives to attain provision, he will only get what was decreed and predestined for him. He knows that his striving is nothing but a means, the utilisation of which is an aspect of monotheism; this is provided that, firstly, he utilises these means believing that the One who created these means is the real provider, and secondly, that he does not place his reliance upon these means.
One should not react with discontent if his provision seems low, or if it decreases; nor should he transgress if it increases and become heedless and negligent of the legislation of his Lord.
People are searching for guarantees and assurances, but a believer already has this because he firmly believes that provision comes from Allah, and thus he has nothing to fear in this regard. A believer knows that Allah provides for the birds in the sky, the wild animals in the desert, the fish in the sea, and even the worms under the rocks; so why would he fear not being provided for?
The difference between a believer and others with regards to the issue of death: A believer feels secure with regard to his death knowing that Allah has predestined his death at a specific time and place, and that no power on earth can change this, even by a second; Allah says (what means): “And for every nation is a [specified] term. So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].” [Quran 7:34] Allah also says (what means): “…And no aged person is granted [additional] life nor is his lifespan lessened but that it is in a register…” [Quran 35: 11]
A believer believes that Allah has predestined the length of his life as well as the exact moment of his death, and that He did so fifty thousand years before He created the creation - and that there is absolutely nothing and nobody that can change this.